A 53-year-old man from Bangor, who was born in the UK and says he has never travelled abroad, has been held in a deportation centre for the last four months amid attempts to deport him to the United States.

Paul Tate, who has multiple medical problems and uses a wheelchair after suffering a stroke, has been held at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire, since he was released from prison four months ago.

A judge, who considered his application to be released last week, refused to free him, saying: “He says he is a British citizen but has done nothing to prove it.”

Tate insists he was born in Bangor, North Wales, and that he has never left the UK.

Home Office sources say that Tate told them he was a US citizen, but he denies ever saying this. According to his lawyers, the Home Office made a request to US authorities for an emergency travel document for him in December 2017.

In January the US refused to provide one, saying it had no record of Tate being a US citizen. However, more than two months later Tate is still locked up.

Tate’s name was changed from that on his birth certificate when he was adopted as a child. His solicitor is working with members of Tate’s family to obtain documents to prove he is a British citizen.

Tate’s solicitors have now begun legal proceedings against the Home Office for unlawful detention and say their client is anxious to be released. Hamish Arnott, of Bhatt Murphy solicitors, said his client insisted he was a British citizen with no connection to any other country and had never left the UK.

“The notion of him being removable is fanciful. He is taking legal proceedings to obtain his release,” Arnott said.